Consent is something we talk about a lot nowadays--but what does it actually mean? Whether in a long-term sexual relationship or hooking up with someone for the first time, consent is always important and always necessary!
What is consent?
Consent is an enthusiastic, "Yes!" when no is a viable option. This means that consent is always:
Freely Given: Consent is a legitimate choice that is not influenced by alcohol, drugs, fear, manipulation, or guilt.
Reversible: Consent can always be taken back at anytime, even if something is already happening.
Informed: Before giving consent, your partner knows all the information they need to know. For example, will you all be using a condom? Does either partner have an STI? If one doesn't follow-through on what you agreed on (i.e. you don't wear a condom after agreeing to), then you don't have consent!
Enthusiastic: Your partner says, "Yes!" because they want to engage in the activity, not because they feel like they have to.
Specific: Consent is given for a specific activity. If you start to engage in a different activity, you need to get consent again--it's not automatically assumed.